Monday, September 05, 2005

The Floating Islands

The People of Uros are certainly ingenious. Over 500 years ago they got fed up with being hassled and persecuted by the Incas and another group and decided to take refuge out in the middle of Lake Titicaca. There was only one problem, there weren't any available islands for them to take move to. Undeterred and just like something from a Dr Seuss book these industrious creatures knitted themselves their very own islands from reeds.

Still living on them today and making a tidy living from the tourists that come to visit the Uros people and their Islands are amazing. We arrived by boat and as I took my first tentative step upon land I was greeted by the sensation of being on a giant water bed. The reeds float well, but they also rot which means the Uros have to constantly layer up their little island homes so they don't sink- this means in certain spots you will more than likely lurch drunkenly as the rotten reeds give way underfoot. One girl wondered what happened to the little houses when a new layer of reeds was put down - I joked that perhaps they just pick them up and move them. Five minutes later we saw the locals doing just that - the perfect temporary accomodation.


Post a Comment

<< Home